Will a Pool Add Value to Your Home? Experts Weigh In
A pool’s impact on your property value depends on these variables.
Installing an in-ground pool costs upward of $30,000. It’s an eye-catching addition to your landscaping, and it makes your house the go-to hangout spot among friends and family. But is it worth the investment? Will a pool add value to your home? Like any home improvement, a well-designed pool should increase your property value, but the reality depends on several factors. Here, experts explain four things that affect the monetary worth of a backyard pool.
Any sale requires a buyer. If all the people viewing your property specifically want a pool, yours becomes more valuable. If none want a pool, it becomes less valuable. It all comes down to one question: Who is your buyer?
Dr. John Story, associate professor of management and marketing at the University of St, Thomas, Houston and owner of Storyed Solutions, explains that “families with babies, or toddlers, often do not want pools.” Having a large body of water on the property can be dangerous for inquisitive youngsters, though safety barriers may help calm a young family’s fears. On the other hand, a retired couple may be drawn to the lounging and fitness opportunities that a pool offers.
Your prospective buyer will likely view several homes before making a decision, so the overall market in your area will significantly impact your property’s sale. If every other home has a pool, yours becomes less unique. However, “if a pool is more or less a standard feature in your area, buyers may be less interested in your pool-free property,” says Ryan Taaffe of Keller Williams Reality.
While some buyers may be put off by the cost of maintaining a backyard pool, it may not concern those who are in the market for a luxury home. According to Mason Spurgeon, certified general appraiser and owner of Spurgeon Appraisals, “luxury homes are expected to have a pool, and they contribute value.” So if you’re in an expensive neighborhood with multiple available properties, a pool will help you stay competitive with the rest of the market.
Your regional location will also affect the value of your pool. In some parts of the U.S., there is snow on the ground for six months each year. In other areas temperatures almost never dip below freezing. Pools are more desirable in extremely hot climates.
In the Midwest, Spurgeon explains, “in-ground pools contribute anywhere between nothing and $40,000. In-ground pools not contributing value are typically older, not well cared for or with homes below $150,000.”
Chris McDermott, nurse practitioner, real estate broker and co-founder of Florida-based Jax Nurses Buy Houses, speaks to high heat climates: “In Los Angeles, CA, a pool substantially increases the value of a median-priced home, adding around $95,000 in value. In Tucson, AZ, a pool adds only around $27,000 to a median-priced home.”
Will a pool add value to your home? The pool itself matters. If it is well-maintained, the answer is more likely to be yes. If it hasn’t been cleaned in years, the answer is probably no. “If you decide that installing a pool is best for you, you can increase its value by maintaining the surrounding area,” Taaffe says. “A dirty, unkept pool is likely to come across as a liability; a spotless, spa-like pool and patio area could be the oasis your buyer can’t refuse.”
Story reiterates that a pool’s quality matters, saying that a pool with unique features, such as a waterfall, is more likely to add value.
Property Value and Pool Expenses
Overall, the added value does not typically outweigh the cost of installing and owning a pool. “On average, a concrete pool starts at around $30,000 and increases in cost if you change size, landscape, add pavers etc,” McDermott says. “Other items to consider include maintenance, insurance and utilities.” And many buyers will ask you to complete maintenance, such as replacing the liner in a vinyl liner pool, before agreeing to close.
Potential sale price may not be the only thing to consider. If you’ve always dreamed of having a pool and you plan stay in your home for a long time, the years of joy it will bring could be more valuable.